For The Rider Who Wants The Perfect Wheel Size
The suspension is highly adjustable to accommodate the
different wheel sizes. Our bike had 5. 5 inches of travel, front
and rear, although we did experiment with the long-travel
rocker option, which bumped the rear travel to 6. 3 inches.
The frame also uses Syntace’s X- 12 12-millimeter rear axle,
which Liteville claims boosts the stiffness of the rear end
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The complete Shimano XTR build is a start, but
Syntace adds a few nice touches as well. The custom
derailleur guard could be a money-saver if you’re
prone to snapping derailleurs off. And while the
chainstay-mounted guide will add a bit of friction, it
adds chain management too. We never dropped a
chain during testing.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
The linkage: The 301’s
suspension looks pretty
crazy. We’ll answer your
first question: Yes, it’s
safe, but it’s not per-
fect. The MBA wreck-
ing crew came up
with a number of
nicknames for the
design, including “the
guillotine,” but we
only had contact issues
between the link and our
thighs—not enough to be a
deal breaker, just enough to
be a minor annoyance.
Setup: Liteville makes the suspen-
sion setup easy, with dots on the rocker and main frame to
guide you. Simply add enough pressure to the shock to
align the dots when you’re on the bike and you’re ready to
hit the trails. While going by the dots makes the initial
setup feel a little soft, the Liteville pedals so well you’ll be
glad you didn’t keep pumping. Although we experimented
with a 29-inch front wheel, we could never get the mis-
matched wheels to feel balanced, so we stuck with the
27.5-inch wheels, front and rear.
Pedaling: The 301 is a lightweight bike that can be
adjusted up to 6. 3 inches of travel. It’s not designed to
pedal like a cross-country rocket, but it pedals pretty well
with the help of Fox’s CTD shock. While the CTD lever is
fairly accessible, you might not be able to reach for it without conjuring up mental images of your fingers being severed by the guillotine. We would prefer easier access to the
Climbing: Getting the Liteville to the top of the hill
requires a bit of skill, as the front end tends to wander a bit
when the trail gets steep. The suspension’s efficient manners and the bike’s relatively light weight help, but the best
news is that this is one of the first bikes we’ve tested where
the travel-adjustable feature on the fork is well worth
engaging. Lowering the front end steepens this bike
immensely and wakes it up on technical ascents.
June 2013 / MOUN TAIN BIKE AC TION 81
Liteville is a small engineering outfit nestled in the town of Wiggensbach, Germany. It’s owned by the same people who own Syntace, which means
Liteville’s designers and engineers have access to some of the
most advanced development and testing labs on the planet,
let alone in the bike industry. The 301 is a do-it-all bike that
can roll on 26, 27 or 29er wheels.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Liteville 301 is an aggressive trailbike based on the
idea that both the frame and wheel size should be proportional to the size of the rider. To that end, Liteville offers six
frame sizes with matching, proportionally sized wheels. The
extra-small version comes spec’ed with a 24-inch rear wheel
and 26-inch front, and the extra-extra-large version comes
with 29er rims, front and rear. The various frame sizes can
accommodate a number of different wheel sizes, so you can
opt for a different wheel size from the one that is specified if
you want to experiment. Our size-large frame came equipped
with 27-inch wheels, front and rear.
This is not a bike you are likely to see often, especially on
American trails. This bike is for nonconformists who crave
German engineering and attention to detail. It’s also a fun
bike for a mad-scientist type who wants to experiment with
different wheel sizes on the same frame. Ultimately, it’s the
perfect bike for the rider who just has to be a little different.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Despite its unconventional appearance, the Liteville 301 is
essentially an four-bar-link suspension bike. This is the same
linkage system many of our perennial favorites use, including
Specialized. The frame is made from aluminum through and
through, and the suspension rides completely on cartridge
The Liteville 301 three-in-one trailbike